South Park Community Celebration on July 21
Great things are happening in the South Park community! Join us to celebrate the reopening of The Seattle Public Library’s South Park Branch and the first anniversary of the release and implementation of the Duwamish Valley Action Plan—the city of Seattle’s environmental justice, equitable development and anti-displacement strategy for this area of the city.
The event will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 21 at the South Park Branch, 8604 Eighth Ave. S., 206-615-1688. Brief remarks will be made by Seattle’s Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner, Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE) Director Jessica Finn Coven, and The Seattle Public Library Foundation's Debbie McNeil.
The event will include a resource fair with city and neighborhood partners, including the Library and OSE, the Department of Neighborhoods, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Office of Planning & Community Development (OPCD), and more. Also featured will be free crafts and face painting, an appearance by the Bubbleman, a giant inflatable slide for all ages, a selfie booth, and a neighborhood taco truck, including free lunch for the first 100 people!
About the Library branch refurbishment
The 12-year-old branch was temporarily closed April 16, 2019 to allow for repainting and recarpeting. During the branch closure, the Library made additional improvements to support the changing ways patrons are using libraries and to make the branch a more enjoyable space to read, study and collaborate.
"These improvements allowed us to more effectively serve a growing and diverse community, as well as support a wider variety of patron uses, services and local partnerships,” said Turner. “Our priority is to make sure our libraries meet the needs of the community.”
To meet the needs of the South Park community, this refurbishment delivers flexible, collaborative spaces with additional electrical outlets and more mobile shelving and furniture. These newly designed spaces will allow students to work together, while providing the Library and the community an opportunity to creatively use these flexible spaces for a variety of programs.
About the Duwamish Valley Action Plan
In June 2018, the city of Seattle released the Duwamish Valley Action Plan, a city and community vision to promote collaboration and guide the city’s work and investments in the Duwamish Valley for years to come. The plan is part of the larger Duwamish Valley Program, a multi-departmental effort led by OSE and OPCD to address racial and neighborhood-level disparities, reduce health inequities, advance environmental justice, build community capacity, create stronger economic pathways and opportunity, and build trust in government.
“The Action Plan combines the Duwamish Valley communities’ ambitious vision with the practical steps we’ll need to take to achieve our bold environmental justice, equitable development, and anti-displacement goals,” said Finn Coven. “I am proud of the work we have done to implement the Action Plan in the last 12 months and look forward to celebrating this success with the South Park community.”
The 5,019-square-foot South Park branch originally opened in September 2006, thanks to the 1998 voter-approved "Libraries for All" bond measure that renewed and revitalized libraries across the city. It is the first Library building in the South Park community.
Interior improvements are made based on branch usage and trends in Library services. The changes are part of Turner's vision for the Library to "re-imagine" its spaces and find innovative, creative solutions to meet the public’s changing needs and interests.
The approximately $424,000 budget included funds from the 2012 voter-approved Library levy, the real estate excise tax, and The Seattle Public Library Foundation.
The Library gives everyone the opportunity to learn and excel and promised to protect the public’s investment in its buildings as part of the levy. The South Park Branch improvements are part of the Library’s commitment to keeping its buildings well-maintained, clean and comfortable for patrons.